It is something that every driver and passenger dreads when they are on the road; getting into a car accident. Motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of injuries and death in the United States. Whenever you get into a car, you are accepting the inherent risks that come with being in a heavy machine that is moving at high speeds in the same space as other vehicles. Even in smaller collisions, the amount of force involved often leads to injuries for drivers and passengers.
Knowing what to do after you have been in a car accident is crucial to ensuring that your future is secure. At the scene of the accident, it is important to call the police, seek medical attention, exchange information with the other drivers, and document everything that you can. But just as important is what you do in the days and weeks following the collision.
Here are a few steps that you need to follow to take care of yourself now and in the future after a car accident.
Contact Your Insurance
No matter how severe the accident is, you should always contact your insurance carrier as soon as you can after an accident. If you can do so at the scene of the collision after everything else is taken care of, even better. An agent will be able to walk you through the kind of information you need to gather to help with your claim going forward. If you cannot get in touch with them until the next day, make sure you have as much information as possible when you call your insurance. Skipping this step will delay negotiations between insurance companies and potentially ruin your chance to earn fair payment from the other driver if they are at fault.
Seek Additional Medical Screening
At the scene of an accident, emergency personnel will probably evaluate you to see if you have acquired any injuries during the collision. This is an important step to protect your health. However, there could be severe internal injuries that are not immediately observable after the accident. For this reason, you should schedule a checkup with a medical professional as soon as possible to be screened for any additional injuries. Otherwise, an injury that isn’t causing you pain at the moment could fester and worsen over time, resulting in long-term recovery and higher medical expenses.
Focus on Recovery
Whether additional injuries are discovered at your follow-up screening or not, it is important to focus on recovering your health in the next few weeks. If you were hospitalized after the accident, recovery is even more important. Your health is your number one priority, so follow the doctor’s orders, no matter how you feel or what the nature of your injury is. If the doctor suggests a strategy, then follow it. The body could take some time to heal from the damage caused by the accident or any surgeries that followed. Just because the pain has gone away does not mean that you are back to 100%.
Call a Lawyer
After a car accident, you might have suffered injuries, property damage, or other losses. Maybe you are going to have high medical bills during your recovery or you will miss out on income because you cannot go to work. When this is the case, one of the most important steps you can take after a car accident is to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. When you file a claim against the at-fault party for your injury, having the support of a legal professional could do wonders for your case. This individual will understand how to build a compelling case, gather evidence to prove your claim, and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement. Your best chance to recover financial or emotional losses is to team up with a competent and experienced injury lawyer, so contact a reputable firm as soon as possible.
Start Driving Again Soon
The emotional weight that results from a car accident could change how you feel about driving. You may become fearful of going out on the road again and be hesitant when you do. The best way to overcome these fears is to start making short and easy trips as soon as you are healthy enough to do so. By going on simple drives that feel safe, you can start to rebuild confidence in your driving abilities and push past the mental blocks that may be in place after the accident.
Care for Yourself Now and Going Forward
The temptation after being involved in a car accident may be to get back to normal as quickly as possible. While this is not necessarily wrong, it could mean that you do not take the necessary time to heal, recover emotionally, and secure your financial future. Follow the above steps in the days and weeks after your accident to take care of yourself in the immediate aftermath and going forward.